JOURNAL ARTICLE

Noncoding RNAs and atherosclerosis

Binod Aryal, Noemi Rotllan, Carlos Fernández-Hernando
Current Atherosclerosis Reports 2014, 16 (5): 407
24623179
Noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) represent a class of RNA molecules that typically do not code for proteins. Emerging data suggest that ncRNAs play an important role in several physiological and pathological conditions such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases, including atherosclerosis. The best-characterized ncRNAs are the microRNAs which are small, approximately 22-nucleotide sequences of RNA that regulate gene expression at the posttranscriptional level through transcript degradation or translational repression. MicroRNAs control several aspects of atherosclerosis, including endothelial cell, vascular smooth cell, and macrophage functions as well as lipoprotein metabolism. Apart from microRNAs, recently ncRNAs, especially long ncRNAs, have emerged as important potential regulators of the progression of atherosclerosis. However, the molecular mechanism of their regulation and function as well as the significance of other ncRNAs such as small nucleolar RNAs during atherogenesis is largely unknown. In this review, we summarize the recent findings in the field, highlighting the importance of ncRNAs in atherosclerosis and discuss their potential use as therapeutic targets in cardiovascular diseases.

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